Aug 28, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Denver Broncos free safety Rahim Moore (26) and defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) mug for the camera on the sidelines of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Denver beat Dallas 27-3. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
This week’s Broncos vs. Colts matchups is one of the best in the NFL, at least on paper. Peyton Manning has not yet beaten the Colts (0/1) in his NFL career, the only team left of the 32 that he has yet to conquer since 1998.
The Broncos are healthy going into this game, at least for the most part. They’ll be without Danny Trevathan at linebacker, who started last year and became one of the Broncos’ most consistent and versatile players. He will be missed, but will be replaced by Brandon Marshall who had a good camp and preseason.
Otherwise, the Broncos’ only missing players will be those who are suspended, meaning Wes Welker and Matt Prater. It’s interesting how replaceable both of those guys seem, but how many big plays and game-changing plays they were part of last year. Welker is a monster on third downs and in the red zone, and Prater missed only one kick all of last season, providing the Broncos with a chance at points even beyond 50 or 55 yards.
It’s going to be interesting to see how much their absence has on the outcome of the game, but like last season, the Broncos were able to overcome largely because of the play of Peyton Manning. Manning is able to reveal the weaknesses in most any defense, and should have the Broncos in position for a victory in their first game following a Super Bowl drubbing, a rare instance where the defense was too much for the MVP to handle.
Here are my five keys to victory for the Broncos against the Colts, a very good team led by Andrew Luck, and a team that many believe to be a Super Bowl contender and primary threat to the Broncos this season.